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Are the showroom representatives well informed enough?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by GasDoc, May 11, 2013.

  1. GasDoc

    GasDoc Member

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    Are the Tesla reps in the showrooms sufficiently trained and well informed? They are certainly enthusiastic and friendly but these aren't substitutes for real life experience.

    When I was first looking at the car, I used the interactive display to calculate how much range I would have given my driving speeds, weather, etc. The rep told me that I'd get even more range with city driving compared to the highway example because of regenerative braking. Based on this information I opted for the 60kWh battery instead of the 85. Now owning the car, I'm aware that, just like ICE vehicles, you get more "mpg/mpkWh" on highway vs city.

    I heard Cramer on CNBC say this week that he stopped by the Short Hills, NJ store and they told him that it was a nine month wait to get a car. He said he'd buy one if he could buy it now but wasn't willing to wait for nine months.

    Can members recall other things that they were told while exploring the car that don't match up with real life ownership experience?

    I don't want to knock the staff or the sales process but maybe we can share some learned experiences on this thread.
     
  2. Smallfootprint

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    The reality for better or worse is that most store employees are not in a position to buy a ~$100k car, and one learns some things only by driving the car day-in day-out through different seasons and conditions. It's difficult to replicate that knowledge base in a few-week training experience in Fremont.

    Although, I've heard multiple times that all employees get TSLA stock options, and given what the stock's been doing lately I'm guessing more of the early hires will be able to afford to become owners going forward.

    The highway/city driving mixup is still odd, but maybe the employee just meant that the mpge penalty for city driving is less than an ICE due to regen braking, but still less efficient than highway driving (below a certain speed)?
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'd LOVE to see the discussion if one of the "I got it fast!" forum members that bought an 85 recently started an e-mail exchange with him about it.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I don't believe there is much of a chance for Tesla store employees to be knowledgeable about Tesla products--just like the Apple store employees know almost nothing about Apple products. If it's not on the sheet they memorized it isn't there--and a lot of times they've misremembered what was on the sheet or the answers on the sheet have become dated.

    The stores are there so that folks can see the cars/computers in person and have a few newbie questions answered with a reasonable chance of receiving a somewhat correct answer. Anything more detailed will come from websites and forums.
     
  5. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    The story about Cramer being told it was a 9 month wait would be more meaningful if he said 'when' he stopped by a store. Last fall, January... Etc?
    I saw someone that just placed their order and got a delivery date at the end of June. 7 weeks isn't bad.

    I get better range on county roads than I do on highways. I suspect you would get less range on a highway driving 80 than on city streets.
     
  6. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Perhaps hit and miss from employee to employee and from store to store... but I can attest to our store here (Washington Square), they are all very informed. They're providing many test drives on a daily basis, and are quite familiar with the car for nearly a year now. Further, they actually read this forum weekly (and in the early days), even daily. They are quite aware of the nit picking and troublesome call outs that we raise here (think fog lights, headliner, door handles, "brodering", etc). Also one of the employees actually owns a performance model, and participates in the local get-togethers too. They're quite aware of real world turn times now on the cars. So the feedback loop is pretty tight.

    I think the Bellevue store is pretty dialed-in as well.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Kramer was also telling people to buy stock in companies that tanked right before the market did the same thing.

    I agree with jerry33, they do a good job helping people who are new to EVs and are very knowledge overall but it helps to actually own the car and spend a lot of time using and reading about it.
     
  8. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    Alex Frank at the Menlo Park store was extremely knowledgeable. I peppered him with questions for a good long time and he had a good answer for ever single question. I have a finely tuned BS detector and it never went off once when I was talking to him. The only thing he told me that turned out to be wrong is when he said that it was impossible to upgrade a 60 kWh car to supercharging after purchase. But I suppose that info would have been correct if they hadn't actually been sneaking the supercharging hardware in all the cars at the factory. Silvia, the woman we got the test drive from at the Santana Row store, also seemed to really know her stuff. I got the impression they let the sales staff borrow the test cars since she seemed to know things about the car you would only know if you actually lived with it for a bit. Maybe some of the newer employees are a bit clueless. But the one's I've dealt with have been top notch.
     
  9. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    The Short Hills store is where I did my test drive and where I did my ordering and they were pretty knowledgeable That was back in March and even then I was told I would be getting it around May (which I am). I don't trust most of what Cramer says for investing advice or otherwise.
     
  10. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Uhh no.

    a) When we bought the car, Bellevue had a map of the West Coast Green Highway charge stations up and the reps told us that you can do a 4 hour charge anywhere on that highway, as long as you had a Twin Charger.

    (If you don't know the West Coast Green Highway - it consists of 30 Amp J1772 chargers and CHAdeMO DC...).


    b) "Sure, you can order the rear seats after the fact". Groan.


    I think now that Tesla has test-drive vehicles available at most locations, the sales reps should take them home each night and get familiar with them.
     
  11. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    The idea that an EV gets better mileage in city driving than it does on the highway is a widely cited "fact". It seems more likely to me that this actually might be the case with most EV's, because they are all optimized for short range, low speed applications. In contrast, the Model S has always been optimized for high speeds and long range.

    Just look at the 2012 Leaf MPGe, 106 city, 92 highway. 2013 model is 130 city, 102 highway, which shows the manufacturer attempting to FURTHER optimize city performance.

    Seems more likely that this employees advanced knowledge worked against them, because it turns out that the Model S is unlike any other EV on the road.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Has anyone pulled up the fabric in the back and looked to see if the well and fittings for the child seats actually dont exist? The idea that it can't be retrofitted might have more to do with short term supplier and business issues making it impractical, rather than impossible. You used to have to order SuperCharger hardware also, but then it turned out that it was always going to be possible to upgrade.

    Offering child seat upgrades right now would be an additional logistical headache for a company that has no shortage of them. Better to say its not possible, to shut down questions about when it might become available, if ever.
     
  12. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I think the issue is that on cars with the child seat, there is a button in the back that allows the child to open the hatch from inside. I didn't order the child seats and I don't have this button.
     
  13. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    I stand corrected on your store.
     
  14. spleen

    spleen Active Member

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    Is this really true? Because when I'm driving the Model S, my Wh/mile runs in the mid 200s while driving roads at about 40-45 mph with traffic lights (i.e. city driving) but goes to the higher 200s, low 300s while driving 60-65 on the freeway. While the Model S is unlike any other EV on the road, it can't beat the laws of physics and higher speeds are inherently less efficient than lower speeds simply because of the air mass that needs to be pushed out of the way.
     
  15. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #15 ChadS, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
    You are correct that a low steady-state speed will consume less energy than a higher speed (due to drive line inefficiencies and relative size of road friction costs and such there is a lower limit to this...somewhere in the 18mph range for the ModelS, far lower than most gas cars).

    However, when "city" driving, there is often a lot more stopping at intersections and then having to accelerate the car. The Model S is REALLY heavy, so this takes a lot of energy and can overwhelm the advantage of less aero drag at lower speeds.

    Of course, the question is where the two lines cross over each other. It depends on how often you stop, how much you rely on regen and how efficient it is, how quickly you accelerate, plus other factors like rough or wet roadways that may have different impacts at different speeds. Add to that different average HVAC loads given different average trip lengths (and different miles traveled per amount of time the HVAC is on) on the highway vs in the city...and you get something very difficult to calculate!
     
  16. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    So, I just happen to be at Short Hills this weekend for quite some time while recharging. It gave me a chance to both talk with a number of the employees there and overhear a number of the conversations they had with the public. I found that they were very knowledgeable about the cars, and the wait times. A number of times I heard employees quoting wait times, and then adding in the exact options that would shift the wait time some because they were just coming out now. Short Hills has been open for a while, so if Cramer stopped by six months ago, 9 months would have been the correct answer then...

    Generally speaking I have heard poor information from time to time from sales associates, and I've corrected them when appropriate. It is hard to fully convey to someone the disdain you have for a 30A J1772 running at 190V when it's discussed as a way to fill up on a road trip (15 hours) (it was suggested that it would just be the 4 hours that an 80A 240 HPWC would provide). I think that it would be fantastic for all employees to take a car on a 1000 mile road trip, and really learn what the cars get as millage on the highway in a long trip at various speeds, charge times, finding charge spots, etc... But, I think that we just have to understand that we are years away from even a significant number of employees getting that experience and we must pass on the knowledge we can to them until then.

    Peter

     
  17. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    Actually, the early VIN owners who were told that the jump seats were available after ordering still can get them installed. My service rep told me it would be $3000 to put in the jump seats in my car since i had an early VIN. I don't know what the cut-off is though.
     
  18. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    The Seattle & Bellevue staff seem reasonably well informed though like any sales staff, they clearly have an agenda - minimize problems, push features, maximize positive points. Their understanding of options and effect on delivery dates seemed to jibe with what I've read here. I've only talked to female staff and they are all kind of flirty-friendly-salesy (you know us sucker OGs - pretty face, smile and a little leg will get our check books out). They do need to learn to stop selling when they have the order.

    ALWAYS take sales people's comments with a grain of salt. For example, one was pushing the jump seats really heavily. I have absolutely no desire for one but she was really persistent even after I said so. Claimed that resale value would be better. I found that a stretch as there is zero track record on that. It might be true but at this point it's just opinion. I did find that they were uncertain about the subtleties of regen and "one foot driving" though that's not really a negative.
     
  19. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Nice! When did you place your reservation & order?
     
  20. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    40-45 mph is not city driving. Going from stop to 25-35 and back to a stop 100 feet later is city driving. The loss from acceleration and then not getting it all back in regen hurts more than the gain from lower speeds. I get low 300s on the freeway, and high 300s city driving. Driving 40-45 mph is definitely when I get my best mileage.
     

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